This project automates the payment processes involved during student registration at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kongo Campus. Payment processes include School fees and hostel allocation. A database was implemented using MySQL for proper record management and PHP was used as scripting language for the system development. The student creates an account with the APPS system where he/she can save any amount of money anytime at the designated banks of APPS so that during registration, he/she simply accesses his/her account and pays for his/her school fees and accommodation. This project shows that it is easier for students to complete their registration automatically rather than going through some tedious manual processes during registration.
Developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have made impact in all sectors of the society, including education. In higher education, application of ICTs in form of e-learning is changing the mode of learning and teaching processes . School management is now done online, records are being kept in databases that are accessible through the web. Also Registration, payment of schoolfees, generating timetables and much more are done using the web. The world of IT has gone far and wide that now makes us see the importance of using automated system rather than manual system.
Referring to the problem of school fees and hostel allocation as the Automatic Payment Portal System (APPS) problem. Given the large number of students that are typically involved in such problem, there is a growing interest in automating the process of payment using centralized matching schemes that incorporate efficient algorithms for APPS. Examples of similar automated systems are in use in several universities.
In recent years, the advancement of technology has thus brought us into a new era of Web based systems. These systems are also known as enquiry systems and have the ability to input data, with a guaranteed response time and an assurance that the information is accurate and timely, then one is said to have a “Real Time System” . A real time system is also a Web based system and comprises mainly of four (4) main components:
i. A data-gathering component that collects data from the external environment.
ii. An analysis component that transforms the received information as required by the application.
iii. A control component that responds to the external environment.
iv. A monitoring component that co-ordinates all other form of these components so that real-time response can be achieved.
Due to these advancements, organization need no longer be centralized when information services can reach the home and offices for processing from a number of geographical locations. However, Web based systems have helped tremendously in every field of human existence today. Hence this project work provides and creates an Automatic Payment Portal System (APPS) to the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kongo Campus through the development of a Web based system that will in turn improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the university.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In most Nigerian Institutions of higher learning especially the Universities and Polytechnics, students enrolment to these higher institutions is continuously on the increase, and each year every student is expected to register for a session and therefore the student has to make payment for the session. This increase in student’s population over the years makes the period of registration stressful and payment of school fees and hostel accommodation a very tedious exercise. The existing system of payment of school fees and hostel allocation at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kongo Campus involves a student going online to generate a transaction ID which is then taken to the bank for payment. If the student needs to get hostel allocation, he/she has to go back online, book a room, generate another transaction ID and then take it back to the bank. This process is causing a lot of problems because many students will have to line up in unending queues in banks where so many unforeseen events might happen. A student might lose his/her money; get tired due to stress and so many other events. Most students during registration are always at home and will have to come back to school for registration because most banks outside Zaria does not provide this service.
The existing system or mode of payment results to stress due to the factors and conditions encountered during registration. Every new and returning student has to register at the beginning of every session.
Most students are in a state of confusion during registration either because they do not currently have the money to pay for their school fees or will have to come down to school to pay during process with no guaranteed accommodation or send the money to a friend who is in school.
Based on these observations, a Web based system for Payment which will enable students overcome these problems during registration is designed and implemented. The system will allow a student to open an account at a designated bank and keep his/her school fees in the account anytime and any day. Due to the present situation of the country, parents can also keep their children’s entire school fees in their account. Therefore, the system allows you to keep your school fees incrementally or at once. The development of this Web based system will eliminate the major problems of the existing system.
The aim of the project is to develop an Automatic Portal Payment System (APPS) that allows students securely and comfortably pay their school fees and accommodation fees during registration.
i. Create a Web based system that will solve the problems of the existing system being used for school fees and accommodation payment and hostel allocation
ii. Develop a system that allows a student save his/her school fees in an account before the period of registration.
iii. Allow students to pay their school fees and hostel accommodation anywhere and anytime during registration.
iv. Ease and speed up registration of students every session.
v. Test and validate the system prototype.
The scope of this project is to develop an Automatic Payment Portal System (APPS) for the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kongo Campus. The system will accommodate only the administrator, bank staffs and students into one integrated Database system.
This project is also scoped to only undergraduate programs in the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kongo Campus and it is designed for the two faculties there i.e. Faculty of Administration and Faculty of Law.
1.7 Research Methodology
The proposed research method that would be adopted is as follows;
i. Requirement Assessment -: A thorough assessment of the current existing system will be carried out and the requirements of the new system will be clearly defined by interviewing some students and lecturers.
ii. Application Program -: At this stage, the design work flow will be converted to code and debugged.
iii. Testing and Development -: The completed application will be tested and deployed on remote web host, ready for use.
Literature asserts that, for nearly every business, the simple act of collecting payments from consumers is actually quite complex and yet organizations want to make it easy and convenient for customers to pay, so they offer multiple choices of payment types and channels.
Therefore, this project proposed the development of an alternative platform that enables students and their sponsors securely pay university fees online from wherever during registration. This will reduce the lengthy queues, and congestion at banks for payments. Sponsors of students will also be able to save their wards school fees before the period of registration and as such will make it easier to cater for their wards .
1.9 Organization of the Project
The project is divided into five (5) chapters. Chapter One is introductory chapter that includes the motivation, scope, research methodology, aims and objectives of the work, Chapter Two is the literature review, Chapter Three talks about the system analysis and design of the work, Chapter Four is the system development, implementation and testing and finally Chapter Five entails the recommendation and conclusion.